‘Stories out of school’ misses the point

June 10, 2009 at 10:54 am Leave a comment

stories out of school small

I attended an event called ‘Stories out of school’ in London yesterday, organised by Futurelab and presented by Martin Hughes, professor of education at the University of Bristol. This was based on an ESRC funded research project run by Martin that looked into ways young people learn outside the school environment. The event was, I think, put on as part of the research remit to disseminate the findings widely.

The conclusions of the research itself as presented at the event, that young people want adults to listen to them, to respect them, to not label them, and to recognise that their lives can be tough, presented no revelations. Any parent of teenage kids could tell you this, simply from observation. There was also a general conclusion that kids don’t like school. Hmmm.

The research followed specific young people in their involvement in a chess club, in a rock band, in drama sessions, in sport, in poetry and there were displays of the ‘outcomes’ at the event. Martin Hughes also presented the general findings and showed two DVD’s of dramatic work some of the young people had undertaken and presented.

Whilst I don’t doubt the veracity of this research, I don’t think it went anything like far enough. In particular conspicuous by its absence was any study of the out of school use of technology by young people, i.e. gaming, social networking, etc. or as someone pointed out any study of out of school activities that didn’t involve organised activity as such but rather ‘hanging out’.  These were, in my view, serious omissions given the amount of time young people spend with technology and their love of hanging out.

A clue as to why technology was omitted perhaps is in the fact that Martin Hughes clearly was desperately uncomfortable with technology himself. His PowerPoint slides were awful, he was unable to get a link to a website he wanted to show and after much fiddling he did eventually manage to show DVD’s of some drama activities, but had the volume up intrusively too loud. Clearly he hadn’t bothered to set these things up in advance.

And this was my greatest problem with the whole event. The presentation was appalling, including the scrappy presentation of the young peoples work and conclusions on display panels around the room.

This meant a disappointing afternoon for, I suspect, all attendees, but more significantly showed disrespect for the young people who figured in the study. It is my view that young people are not shown the respect they deserve and are certainly not trusted with any real responsibility for their own learning through the education system. To simply not bother to make the effort to present their views in any sort of reasonable fashion through a study that presumably is intended to fight their corner simply serves to exacerbate that situation.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Digital teknology, Education, Learning, Pupil voice, Young people.

Try leading by example! Play the ‘Mock the week’ Ofsted exam game

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Mick Landmann on education, digital technology, and the 21st century

Recent Posts

twitter_logo-med2

My latest tweets

pupil-voice-new-logo-small1

%d bloggers like this: